The researcher studied what happens to the brain while praying; its activity, sanity, and performance. He found out that the 'non-Islamic' praying has continuous effects on the brain. So, what if we conduct the same experiment on a Muslim person while praying, praising Allah and in a state of humility?
Praying is considered healing of the soul and the body. We believe in this [spiritual] fact, but some may feel skeptic; claiming that it is [just] a surrender, humiliation and seizing of freedom. To this end, we will work our minds in a study conducted by one of Western scholars about the impact of praying on the brain's [activity] and health. It should be noted that the study was not conducted on the Islamic praying, and if it was made on Muslims, then results would be breathtaking.
Some scientists who examined the impact of meditation on the minds of Buddhist monks found that there are active parts in the brain become inactive in the state of meditation, while other inactive parts before the start of the meditation become active. In an article published by the BBC News website, Andrew Nioberg, a radiologist at the
Dr. Newberg and his team studied a group of Buddhist monks in the
Dr. Newberg explains what happened; saying that the pictures showed "activity increase in the frontal lobe which is the front of the brain, a region that becomes active in [any] human being when one wants to focus on a particular activity", while the Parietal lobe, which is the back of the brain, showed a significant decrease in activity of the Parietal lobe and it is responsible for one's sense of place. This confirms the saying that meditation leads to losing the sense of place. Dr. Newberg commitment: "During meditation, people lose their feelings of themselves, and really feel losing the sense of place and time, and this was exactly what we saw."
The Power of Praying
Also, similar complex interactions happen between different areas of the brain during meditation with the ones that occur during the so-called spiritual or mystical experiences. Previous studies led by dr. Newberg conducted on the brain's activity of Franciscan nuns while praying known as "focus" praying.
Truth is, the verbal part of the prayer activates parts of the brain, but dr. Newberg found out that "it activates the area of attention in the brain, and reduced the activity of the one responsible for the sense of place."
This is not the first time scientists examine spiritual matters. In 1998, the importance of therapeutic praying emerged when scientists in the
Brain imaging has opened vast prospects to study new subjects. This image is taken by a new brain imaging technique, SPECT or Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography, during the normal state (left) and during the meditation one (right). They noticed how the activity in the frontal area, Frontal Lobe of the brain increased in the meditation state in form of red spots that reflect the extent of the brain activity. Reference: www.andrewnewberg.com
This second picture is a comparison between the normal state (left) and the state of meditation (right). The focus here is on the Parietal Lobe of the brain, where we notice a significant decrease in the activity of this area during meditation. It should be noted that this region is responsible for the sense of place. Ibid www.andrewnewberg.com
This researcher affirms that faith is very necessary for the existence of human beings, because it makes them more adapted to fate and answers the questions raised by the brain. It was found that (the Buddhist praying) reduces blood pressure, eliminates depression and anxiety and reduces heart pulse. Therefore, and according to a number of Western researchers, to be religious is better than being atheist for the good of humanity to be safe and sound.
As dr. Andrew Nioberg confirms, a specialist in neuroscience, on his website that believing that there is God of the whole universe is absolutely necessary for a psychological and physical healthiness. In his book, "How God changes your Brain," written by him and a group of researchers and also achieved significant sales in
Worshiping and meditating for 12 minutes a day, delays the diseases of aging and reduces stress and anxiety. The submission, worship and praying practices give the human being a sense of peace more love and compassion, while atheism, anger and protest against fate continuously damage the brain.
A new book published recently in the
The researchers discovered through out this book that believing in God makes permanent changes in the human brain and how it works. Furthermore, faith fights dementia that results from a sudden death of a large number of the brain cells. It also heals Parkinson disease in addition to mental disorders.
What about the Islamic praying?
Unfortunately, there is no similar studies about the impact of praying on the health status of the Muslims, but we can say that: 'The praying that Allah ordered us to practice is characterized by humility and tranquility achieved from reading Quran, and from what is stated by scientists, it also has moves that is appropriate to activate muscles and bones.
In Islam, praying is not just practicing rituals like Buddhism, but it has meanings, connotations, objectives and a sense of closeness to Allah, as one becomes very close to Allah, especially in the position of prostrate. I, also, would like to draw the attention to an important issue, namely, frontal lobe which becomes active while praying, while the back of it becomes calm, so what does that mean?
The Frontal Lobe area is responsible for creative thinking and decision-making, therefore, praying humbly helps the man to make decisions properly and this means that praying helps you to work things out in your business and be successful!
The changes caused by praying and keep on practicing it, have huge reflections to the brain. Personally, I experience and feel this change, and if you ask anyone about the benefits of praying and what he/she feels, he/she would tell you a lot about the psychological comfort, healing of aches, stability, sense of peace and tranquility.
Undoubtedly, those researchers know very well the importance of believing in God, but what is the kind of faith required? They do not know it and won't find it anywhere else but in Quran, because the only true religion is Islam, and all other religions have been distorted, switched by humanly words and mixed with superstitions.
Truth is, some Muslim researchers have made studies about the effect of praying on the mental and physical health, and they found out that praying is one of the best exercises, especially if performed in mosques. Furthermore, walking to the mosques and praying in humility, protects from joint diseases, helps to cure diabetes, reduce blood pressure in addition to many medical benefits; such as preventing atherosclerosis and heart diseases.
Again, the Islamic praying has the most impact on the mechanism of the brain, and if scientists considered the impact of humility while praying, they would see impressive results. On the hand, the Buddhist or the monks praying has not a major impact, because it lacks real humility that makes a believer closer to the God and also, lacks the great meanings carried by the words of Quran. This means that the Islamic praying increases the believer's sense of peace, satisfaction and happiness.
A final say:
My beloved ones! We were slackers reading the Quran and applying what Allah says and slackers towards ourselves and towards obeying what our prophet Muhammad 'peace be upon him' delivered. Why don't we call dr. Newberg to conduct experiments on the effect of praying, telling the breeds, humility, the impact of praying on the Prophet and listening to the Quran. It is, without a doubt will be a great test to prove to the world that Islam is the religion of truth. It is not enough to raise slogans of following Prophet Muhammad, 'peace be upon him', we should speak to people the way they comprehend, and the West trust the language of scientific research
By: Abduldaem Al-Kaheel
1. The Effect of Meditation on the Brain activity in Tibetan Meditators: Frontal Lobes, http://www.andrewnewberg.com/research.asp
3. Mark Waldman, Andrew Newberg, Why We Believe What We Believe, 2006.
5. Eugene d’Aquili, Andrew Newberg, Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief, 2001.
6. Andrew Newberg, How God Changes Your Brain, 2009.
7. Daniel G. Amen, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.
9. Prayer May Reshape Your Brain ... And Your Reality, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104310443&ft=1&f=1001